By Robert H. Kelly
(Houston, Texas, June 13, 2007) In a scene that was reminiscent of the 1960s, a phrase that I last heard uttered by Robin Williams in the movie “Moscow on the Hudson” was spoken at Reliant Stadium prior to this evening’s match between Cuba and Honduras.
Those two words brought back memories of the USSR and USA sports matches of that era, which usually involved as much politics as sports.
The two words that I haven’t heard in a long time: I DEFECT.
Unnamed sources claim that Cuban midfielder Osvaldo Alonoas defected prior to the game. It is unclear whether the defection occurred in Houston or at Cuba’s previous game site in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
As a result, only 17 players suited up for the match against Honduras.
United States law usually protects Cuban nationals who request political asylum while on U.S. soil.
The Cuban delegation has not commended on the reports.